None of us knew that something was missing from last season's debut London Collections: Men. It was only when Sarah Burton brought the McQueen show to London for the first time this season that we all realised just how incomplete the schedule had been without this iconic brand. With his Savile Row roots and East End upbringing McQueen united the two pillars of our capital’s menswear - perfect, heritage tailoring and daring, fresh experimentalism. Burton celebrated these distinct qualities perfectly with a sinister, sharp collection that brought some much needed drama and depth to the week.
Naturally tailoring was at the heart of the showcase. Models drifting from room to room in the creaky Familoe building clad in pagoda-shouldered pinstripe suits, Perspex face-masks and velvet collared shirts. Part American Psycho, part Victorian serial killer, the clothing felt menacing in that unique, special McQueen way. Adding to the murderous vibe, jots of deep blood red were artfully employed to break up the monochrome palette.
As has become her signature, Burton injected a lighter element into the collection with hauntingly beautiful stained glass print tailoring. Perfectly on point, given the McQueen man's taste for the historical dandy look, the suits were a credit to Burton's cutting prowess and fantastical, romantic vision.
This collection had the emotion and force of Burton's acclaimed womenswear collections and, hopefully, shall mark the start of a new lease of life for the menswear range. Chilling, unsettling, but gobsmackingly stunning, this was a truly brilliant collection and a perfect way to arrive in London - proof that the McQueen brand is never better than when shown at home.